Raising Magnolias

Because it's never too late for happily ever after…

Just Believe

5 months ago I was being told no.

Over and over and over again.

And then I hit a new low and I began selling pens.

You’ve heard that part of the story.

So I sat across from my friend.  And I told her about the pens. And I told her the way people look at you when you walk down the hall, in their office, to their desk.

They look away.

And, confidence level not in peak condition, I told her I need a job where people love me.

Or at least like me.

I cannot handle any more rejection.

Even if it is from the overweight-smoked for too many years-used to be a car salesman-but now’s in charge of buying pens-guy.

I even need that guy to like me.

And he didn’t.

And I felt like the Lord had forgotten about me.

And I felt like He had gotten it all wrong.

And I felt and still struggle with feeling abandoned.


In this place.

Where the Lord forgot—

About me.

So first, my friend laughed about the pens.

She prayed for me.

She prayed with me.

She believed for me.

She believed in me.

And I left that coffee shop with a new plan.


We met with her husband. There were charts and ipads and drop box things and numbers and hours and he said “the plan” a lot.

A whole lot.

So much, in fact, that I kept thinking what a fun drinking game this would be!

And for the record, I’ve never played a drinking game. I’m  just saying in theory, it sounded fun.

The plan.

And in brainstorming the plan, she came up with the idea of a girls’ running group.

And her girls are runners

And her son was a runner.

And her son was taken. Shaken off the mountain.

And today, we celebrated 12 weeks of her idea; of girls runnning strong. And we missed her girls and I missed my friend, the brainstormin’ momma, but today was a reminder that even in divorce and even in loss and yes, even or perhaps most epecially in death, there is life—

And it marches.

And Ann says, we have to fight hard for the joy or it’s our children who suffer.

So we fight.

And we march.

And today, we ran.

Timothy Keller said, “Worrying is believing that God won’t get it right and bitterness is believing that God got it wrong.”

And I have both.

And I can be a stupid aetheist.

But today, I did not worry.

Today, I am not bitter.


I’m grateful for friendship. My friend who created ideas. Created plans.

And my faithful friends who signed up their daughters and said.



12 weeks of learning about each other.

fun with girls just believe chalk just blieve chalk 2 team work

And team work.

just believe team work 004johnson lake

And serving.

just believe 009

And the whole big journey was a complete surprise.

I fell in love with these girls.

But I will make this confession.

I didn’t fully believe.

Today I planned a route where they could stop.

After one lap.

Two laps.

And I would’ve been just as proud. Really.

But their belief was greater than mine.

And no-one quit.

And they, each and everyone,  finished.

Because they had mommas and daddies and mentors running along side of them.

They finished.

Just Because.

They believed.

she believed


She ran with her momma. Precious and little and I have carried her on my back and skipped along sidewalks and she crossed the finish and her mom fell into me with a hug that was big.

And real.

And y’all know how I love hugs.

And she cried.

And she said thank you.

And the journey to here?



And really, really sad.

But in that moment, I thought Yes, Lord!

I believe.

In your goodness.

I believe.

That Your ways are higher and that your plans are greater.

And building into people?

So much better than pushing into pens.

And besides, these little people are a HALE of a lot cuter than the rude, fat, car-guy in charge of buying pens. 🙂

And I think they like me a little more, too. 🙂

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